Canal death in­quest is told of fran­tic res­cue bid

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH - STU­ART GREER

AHUSBAND dived into a canal in a fran­tic bid to res­cue his wife af­ter she fell into the water, an in­quest heard.

Mar­garet San­der­son, 80, died af­ter her jacket be­came en­tan­gled with the pro­pel­lor trap­ping her un­der the boat.

The tragedy hap­pened as the cou­ple trav­elled along the Macclesfield Canal on the morn­ing of July 13.

For 10 min­utes her hus­band Paul des­per­ately tried to pull her free, the hear­ing at Macclesfield Town Hall heard.

She was even­tu­ally helped onto the canal bank with the help of a passer-by and po­lice, and rushed to hospi­tal.

But Mrs San­der­son never re­cov­ered from her in­juries and died the next day. The cou­ple were mak­ing their way to­wards Macclesfield af­ter spend­ing the night at Bosley Locks.

Mr San­der­son said when they ar­rived at bridge 47 he left the boat to man­u­ally open it, while his wife steered the boat through.

He said af­ter al­low­ing a boat to pass his wife was re­vers­ing to col­lect him when she fell.

Mr An­der­son said: “I still can’t un­der­stand how she lost her foot­ing. Nor­mally to re­verse you would re­main in the cabin. I can only imag­ine that she moved out­side the en­closed area to ad­just the rud­der. Sud­denly she was in the water. I fol­lowed im­me­di­ately. The en­gine was still run­ning and it was still in re­verse. Her jacket was caught. It pulled her un­der and kept her un­der. I climbed on board and was able to free her from the pro­pel­lor. It was a blur.”

Mr San­der­son praised the ef­forts of the po­lice, paramedics and hospi­tal staff, but added: “Her death has been heart­break­ing for me.”

Mrs San­der­son, from South­port, died of mul­ti­or­gan fail­ure due to near drown­ing.

Record­ing a con­clu­sion of ac­ci­den­tal death, coro­ner Michael Wall­bank said: “She fell over board and her jacket en­tan­gled caus­ing de­lay in her res­cue. She sus­tained in­juries she was un­able to re­cover from. It was a sad and tragic end to a long and happy life.”

Mrs San­der­son was born in Glas­gow and later moved to Lon­don where she worked for the Navy and Army In­sti­tute.

She mar­ried Paul in 1962 and they had two chil­dren, a son Dun­can and a daugh­ter Cather­ine, who died six years ago. The cou­ple also fos­tered many chil­dren.

They later dis­cov­ered boat­ing and even­tu­ally sold their home to live on a canal boat and spent 30 years on the wa­ter­ways.

Mar­garet San­der­son died af­ter fall­ing from her boat into Macclesfield Canal

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